Akrew and NYFU set to exit VALORANT
Luu elaborated saying that Akrew’s exit was due to not making it into VALORANT’s upcoming franchise league and the uncertainties of the tier 2 scene, which Riot is yet to provide concrete details about. He went on to thank the players and the staff and what they had accomplished since the team’s creation in October of 2021.
Fans can certainly look back fondly upon the lineup’s incredible run during the winter, where they went on to win five tournaments in a row, most notably NSG 2022 Winter Championship - Philadelphia Open LAN and Pittsburgh Knights Monthly Gauntlet 2021 - December: Frozen Gauntlet. In the 2022 VCT season they narrowly missed out on NA Challengers qualification, but still beat the likes of TSM and Kansas City Pioneers, and were a dangerous opponent to face off against.
Other than their current squad, Akrew also previously fielded Eric "Kanpeki" Xu, who later moved to Sentinels, and Corbin "C0M" Lee, who now plays for Evil Geniuses, both top teams who’ve competed in the most recent VCT 2022 - North America - Stage 2 - Main Event. The organization clearly was a hotbed for elite talent and it will be interesting to see where their lineup, who will now be free agents, end up in the VALORANT scene.
NYFU, on the other hand, had a much longer history in VALORANT, having first signed a lineup back in the summer of 2020 when they were known as Andbox. The team was largely unimpressive early on, and finally got their big break when they qualified for VCT 2021 - Stage 2 - North America - Challengers 1 and subsequently VCT 2021 - Stage 2 - North America - Challengers Finals, where they finished 7th-8th on both occasions. They missed out on the international stage and competed in tier 2 tournaments since, notably winning NSG Summer Champs - Online Open 8 and SMU X QOR Cup.
The New York based organization made one last push earlier this year with multiple signings, including Diondre "YaBoiDre" Bond and Jason "neptune" Tran, in a bid to rebrand and rebuild their roster, but it was in vain. The team finished 9th-12th in both Stage 2 Challengers Open Qualifiers and MCT - MEL Valorant Premiership Season 3 was their last event in an NYFU jersey.
Much like Akrew, NYFU/Andbox boast names like Jaccob "yay" Whitaker, Adam "mada" Pampuch, and Noah "jcStani" Smith as their alumni, the former even going on to win VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík with OpTic Gaming. As for their current roster, while there is no official announcement from NYFU, ShoT UP has said that he will be a free agent going forward, while Diondre "YaBoiDre" Bond stated that he will be taking an indefinite break from competition.
After Akrew’s departure, the following will enter free agency:Andrew "Gucc107" GutnichenkoAustin "Neon" HedgeJake "Paincakes" HassZachary "ZachaREEE" LombardoJovanni "jovahnii" MiramontesLincoln "Linte" Marshall (Manager)
NYFU’s exit sees the following become free agents:Chad "oderus" MillerDiondre "YaBoiDre" BondJason "JSUNG" SungAndrew "ShoT UP" OrlowskiJason "neptune" TranMatt "wardino" Dickens (Head Coach) Gordan "g0g1" Prošić (Assistant Coach)